Richard Roeper reviews The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams
The less you know about welterweight “Irish” Micky Ward’s story before seeing The Fighter, the better. But even if his trials, tribulations, and triumphs are familiar, you won’t be bored by the way director David O. Russell (Three Kings) and his dynamite cast tell the tale. It’s easy to say, when it’s over, that The Fighter falls into a familiar rousing-sports-movie formula. But if you are blissfully ignorant of the true story, you likely won’t know which way this psychologically complex family saga is heading. The suspense isn’t just about who’s going to win the big fight, but who’s going to emerge from Ward’s big, fierce jungle of a family with their lives intact. Unlike most boxing movies, the cruelest blows in The Fighter are internal.
Micky (Mark Wahlberg) has lost three fights in a row when we pick up his story in 1993 in his blue-collar Lowell, Mass., hometown. His trainer is his older half-brother, Dicky Ecklund (Christian Bale), whose moment of glory was having once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard. Micky is fiercely loyal to his brother, and it’s wrecking his career. Hollow-cheeked, motormouthed, and out of control, Dicky is a charismatic crack addict whose addiction is being documented by an HBO film crew. Bale, who may be the scariest actor in the business, is poisonously good here.Continue Reading
/Film reader “PWH” attended an early screening for the sports drama David O. Russell’s The Fighter, and says the film will be an awards contender. The film tells the story of Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), a real life boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded after a run of drugs and crime.
Shepherded his half-brother “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), Dicky had a Rocky-like rise to the world lightweight championship. Ward fought throughout the mid-’80s and ’90s, but he’s best remembered for three battles with Arturo Gotti, two of which went down as the greatest in the history of the sport. Amy Adams plays “a tough, gritty bartender and former college high-jumper” who ends up dating Wahlberg’s character.
The Fighter doesn’t yet have a release date (but is expected to hit theaters in late 2010), so I assume that that it is a very early cut of the film without final cuts, sound mix or score. A lot could change between now and the time of release, they might even do some reshoots. Who knows. Just wanted to add a bit of context. Read the reader test screening review after the jump.Continue Reading
Terminator Salvation comes to Blu-ray with an unfortunate chip on its shoulder. After director McG informed the media that the high definition version would run over 30 minutes longer and be slapped with the fan requested R-rating, Warner delivered the final specs that held up on the rating but fell about 90 percent short on the additional footage.
The fourth installment in the Terminator lexicon is as much a reboot as a continuation, shuffling the entire cast and setting the film in a post apocalyptic Judgment Day world where Skynet rules and humans scavenge for life’s necessities in order to survive. A war-grizzled John Connor (Christian Bale) is the central character, the prophesied savior of mankind whose very existence Skynet is willing to travel through time to extinguish. He is not quite the Resistance’s leader yet but makes up for any lack of authoritative control by barking commands in the familiar low gruff Batman monotone voice.